Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dames en Here,
Manene nani Manenekazi, apha eFreedom Park namhlanje.
And most important, all South Africans who are joining us today from their homes.
Ngokubalulekileyo, bonke aboMzantsi Afrika abanathi namhlanje, kumakhaya abo. Welkom aan almal wat ingeskakel is.
We are here to talk about jobs.
Silapha ukuza kuthetha ngemisebenzi.
Vandag gaan dit oor werksgeleenthede.
As we gather here today, there are seven million South Africans out of work.
That is seven million people who have spent months, even years, looking for a job.
Many of them have given up trying.
Abaninzi bancamile. Bayasokola kakhulu.
They are struggling to provide for their families and many don’t know where the next meal will come from.
They don’t care about politics – they have no time for debates about who is getting elected in Mangaung in December and who is not. Their worries are much more urgent, and much more personal.
Many others do have jobs now, but they worry about how long their job will last. They’ve watched their friends and neighbours losing their jobs and wondered if they would be next.
Our economy is not growing fast enough to create new jobs. In fact, more and more people are losing their jobs each day.
All of these South Africans, these men and women, have begun to lose their faith in the promise we made to each other in 1994, and again in 1996 when we adopted our new constitution.
Freedom in South Africa was supposed to mean that everyone would have a fair chance to make it in life.
Freedom was supposed to mean that if we all worked hard, we would be able to send our children to school, feed our families, and build a better live for ourselves and for them.
But what has happened to that promise?
Why has it almost gone from our hearts?
I think that promise has been stolen by a government that has shown by its actions it does not care for the poor. It is too divided and too corrupt to do anything about unemployment. It cannot be trusted to deliver textbooks to learners in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape. It cannot be trusted to get the economy growing, so that more people have the opportunity to work.
If we act now, we can restore that promise. We can get this economy growing, and we can get South Africa working. But we must act now. We must start working for change.
We must change the way our economy works. At present, our economy is divided between insiders and the outsiders.
The insiders are those people who have jobs, homes, and the prospect of earning more and building a better future.
The outsiders are the millions of poor South Africans who don’t have a fair chance to make it. Their schools don’t work, they don’t have jobs and they can’t start on the road to a better life for themselves and their children.
If we want freedom to become a reality for all, we have to break down the big wall that stands between the insiders and the outsiders in our economy.
It was not the present government that built this wall – it was the evil of Apartheid that first divided South Africans and set up the system of insiders and outsiders.
The freedom we won in 1994 was supposed change all that. It was supposed to give all our people opportunity and access to proper education, to jobs and assets. But instead of breaking down that wall, it has just been getting higher and wider.
The ANC government has been extending this wall. Together with their friends they have been dividing South Africa’s too small pie of wealth and jobs amongst themselves. They are satisfied with lower growth and fewer jobs. As long as they keep these to themselves.
The ANC and its allies in some businesses and unions are shutting down your freedom.
We must challenge this cosy club and break down that wall.
Masidilize uDonga. Ons moet hierdie muur afbreek.
We must do so with new ideas and a new focus.
Today we deliver the first blow to that wall.
Namhlanje sityhiliza uDonga okokuqala.
We need to build a society where everyone has a stake, where having a home or starting a business is not only for the privileged few, or those who have the right political connections.
We must challenge those people who abuse their positions of power to keep prices high, keep families poor, and keep getting richer without earning it. While keeping everybody else out.
We want a society where the economy works for all 50 million South Africans.
And most importantly, we want a society where more people have jobs.
That is why today the Democratic Alliance is launching our Plan for Growth and Jobs.
The DA’s plan will change South Africa’s economy from a system of insiders and outsiders to one in which everyone can participate.
Our plan will make it easier to invest, to start new businesses, to grow businesses, to hire more workers, and to trade with other countries, especially in Africa.
And this is more than just a plan.
This is our commitment to South Africa.
Daaraan is ons toegewy.
Oku kukuzinikela kwethu kuMzantsi Afrika.
If the DA is elected to national government, so that we can implement this plan, there will be more work for more people.
The economy will grow and there will be more investment and more businesses; more jobs for mine workers, and more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for factory workers, and for farm workers, and more jobs for those who have been unemployed for far too long.
For this plan to succeed, we need a healthy growing economy.
Kufuneka sibe noqoqosho olukhulayo.
Ons ekonomie moet volhoubaar groei.
No country has ever beaten unemployment and poverty, without a strong and growing economy.
This is because investment and growth are needed to start new businesses that create new jobs. With more jobs, there are more people who can buy things and participate in the economy. Before long there is more for everyone.
The way to break down the wall that divides our economy, and include everyone in shared prosperity, is by getting our economy to grow at 8% a year.
We are aiming high – but we have to. The millions of unemployed South Africans require it. And it is in their power to choose it at the next election.
Ikamva esi zandeli zenu.
When we prepared this plan, we looked at what other similar countries have achieved.
Those that have been most successful in tackling poverty, unemployment and inequality in the past decade, all had one thing in common: each achieved economic growth of 8% or more over the preceding ten years.
Countries like Peru, Ghana, Vietnam, Singapore and Panama have all recently grown at 8% or more, and their average growth rates have exceeded 6% over the past decade.
Now we should be doing even better than them. We are South Africans, and we should be aiming for the best, and working hard to achieve it.
But at present, we are not. Our economy has grown far too slowly to roll back unemployment, or provide opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Over the same period we have grown at only 3,6%.
The question is how we can change South Africa into the sort of country that can achieve 8% growth. The DA's Plan for Growth and Jobs answers that question.
This is a plan to fix our education system, so that every child can work to gain the knowledge and the skills they need to find a job or start their own business. The DA will ensure that every learner has a text book in every subject, and we will hold schools accountable for the quality of the education they offer our children. We will build schools where they are most needed, and repair those that are falling apart.
This is a plan to help people start their own businesses, because we all know that small businesses are where most jobs are created. We know that the best way to break down that wall is for our nation to become a nation of entrepreneurs. We’ve got to make it easier and cheaper to start a business. We will cut red tape for small businesses, and reimburse them for the training that they give to their workers. And we will make it easier to hire more people.
The DA’s plan will give young South Africans a real chance at getting a job and entering the economy. We will implement the Youth Wage Subsidy, which has been blocked by some Trade Unions. Where the DA does govern, in the Western Cape, we have already shown that the Youth Wage Subsidy can work. But we need to implement it throughout the country so that it can benefit over 400 000 young people.
We’ll also give young South Africans an Opportunity Voucher, to help pay for their education, help them fund a start-up business, or help them get capital.
This is a plan to build the infrastructure that South Africa needs to attract investment, start growing and creating jobs.
There are ships that want to stop at South African ports every day, but don’t because our harbours are not big enough. We have mining companies who want to invest, but don’t because our railway networks are falling apart.
And there are thousands of workers sitting at home ready to work on projects like these. They shouldn’t need to wait any longer.
This is a plan to put more money and assets in the hands of ordinary people and help them to grow their savings and invest in their own businesses. We will make laws that help ordinary South Africans get shares in the companies they work for. We will set up Jobs Zones where companies can invest and create jobs in South Africa, instead of overseas. And we will work to lower the prices set by government – like on electricity, water, and fuel – so that South Africans can better cope with the increasing cost of living.
Over the coming months, the DA will take this plan to every corner of South Africa.
Kwinyanga ezizayo thina siDA sizakuthatha le Plani siyise kwi-Kona yonke yoMzantsi Afrika, ifike ebantwini.
In die maande wat voorlê sal ons die plan na elke uithoek van Suid-Afrika neem.
The DA believes that building an open and inclusive economy is not optional. It is built into the founding document of our democracy – the Constitution – and it is the promise we all made to each other in 1994 and again in our final democratic Constitution in 1996.
The DA’s plan for growth and jobs is not some imaginary wish list. It is our blueprint for a brighter economic future for every South African. And we need to govern nationally to bring the change South Africa needs.
We present this plan to South Africa as our commitment to the country. We hope you will see it as we do – as the brightest hope of all South Africans to use their freedom, restore the promise of 1994 and build a better life together.
The DA is working for change, working for jobs. Let us do it together.
iDA isebenzela umahluko, isebenzela imisebenzi.
Ons werk vir verandering, sodat almal kan werk.